The EUROlocal Project

The term ‘Learning Region’ is commonplace in the lifelong learning debate. This is logical - they are a key plank of EC policy - places where lifelong learning is implemented. The EC definition is 'A city, town or region which recognises and understands the key role of learning in the development of prosperity, stability and personal fulfilment, and mobilises all its resources creatively to develop the full human potential of all its citizens.’ These resources include both people and organisations - VET, HEIs, SME's, local authorities, schools and adulted, all key stakeholders in a learning region.

Activity abounds. PENR3L's Limerick Declaration identified economic, social and environmental indicators distinguishing learning cities and regions. Germany is covered by more than 75 learning regions, UK and Finnish national learning city networks boast 100+ members and the EC has itself supported projects and programmes to create learning regions, notably the R3L programme, TELS, LILLIPUT, INDICATORS, PALLACE, LILARA, PENR3L and others. Outside of Europe learning cities and regions are burgeoning in China, South Korea, Australasia and in other continents. All this effort has produced data, tools, indicators, reports, videos, projects, recommendations, plans, strategies, learning materials - a wealth of potentially valuable knowledge for EU regions that urgently needs to be brought together in one place and made available to them. There is a clear qualitative difference in a learning region, and yet research shows that in many places there is little awareness or action. In EUROlocal, the team at the University of Glasgow, which has been at the forefront of learning city and region development over ten years, will lead other networks in gathering together all European knowledge and practice in this area from all sources across all sectors and countries. Partners will test the tools, find the best practice, dynamically organise it in an interactive website, produce learning materials, and actively disseminate and exploit it to effect a transformation of Europe's regions. The impact this would have on regional economies and social well-being is huge.

 

Objectives of the EC Lifelong Learning Programme addressed by EUROlocal

To contribute to the development of quality lifelong learning and to promote high performance, innovation and a European dimension in systems and practices in the field.

EUROlocal reinforces the EC policy on lifelong learning regions by collecting the tools, strategies, learning materials , reports and everything concerned with the development of learning regions, putting them into an innovative web site that all regions can access, and actively marketing the qualitative benefits of becoming a European learning region. Its workshops promote trans European cooperation .

To support the realisation of a European area for lifelong learning.

The availability of the all knowledge on learning cities and regions and its active marketing by a multiplicity of networks throughout Europe and through the website and workshops will do much to help the continent progress more rapidly towards a European lifelong learning area. The project could lead to the development of a new version of the policy document on learning regions to replace the original, written by the project advisor in 2001. This will be included in the recommendations.

To reinforce the contribution of lifelong learning to social cohesion, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, gender equality and personal fulfilment.

The commission definition of a learning region is one 'which recognises and understands the key role of learning in the development of prosperity, stability and personal fulfilment, and mobilises all its resources creatively to develop the full human potential of all its citizens.' EUROlocal is at the heart of this objective. The examples of good practice collected and marketed by the project will help fulfil it.

To help improve the quality, attractiveness and accessibility of the opportunities for lifelong learning available within member states.

Since quality, attractiveness and accessibility of the opportunities are all learning region attributes, the project addresses these concerns by providing learning materials (eg from LILLIPUT), indicators (eg from INDICATORS), and case studies of good practice to enable regions to increase awareness of the need.  Workshops will certainly be attractive examples of how to do it.

To reinforce the role of lifelong learning in creating a sense of European citizenship based on understanding and respect for human rights and democracy, and encouraging tolerance and respect for other peoples and cultures.

The EUROlocal and the learning region message is one of European harmony and tolerance. Workshops will reinforce that through the materials used. Examples of regional learning projects that promote internationalism and communication between European children and adults from different countries, as in the PALLACE project, will be actively marketed as a priority.

To encourage the best use of results, innovative products and processes and to exchange good practice in the fields covered by the Lifelong Learning Programme, in order to improve the quality of education and training.

This is the purpose of EUROlocal - to gather all products, processes, tools, materials, recommendations, strategies, case studies etc and encourage their best use by using the PENR3L and other networks to actively market them and encourage their exploitation in the regions. The web site and the learning materials produced by the project will also be of great  value to this process.

 

Specific Objectives of the Action EUROlocal addresses

To promote European cooperation in fields covering two or more sectoral sub-programmes - KA4

The materials collected by EUROlocal cover all aspects of learning region activity including the different stakeholders - schools, universities, adult education, enterprise, community, administration. The stakeholder audits in the INDICATORS project are an example. They promote the active participation of these organisations in learning region activities. So will the learning materials developed by the project to assist take-up.  Workshops are specifically designed for this objective's purpose.

 

Operational Objectives of the Action EUROlocal addresses

To ensure that the results of the Lifelong Learning Programme are appropriately recognised, demonstrated and implemented on a wide scale.

Four major aspects of EUROLOCAL have a part to play a) Collection of data from all sources will be a two-way communication process with regions in a dissemination exercise covering all Europe b) the website will be interactive and innovative, permitting easy identification and access to knowledge c) the existence of this treasure house will be actively marketed by networks d) learning materials will be designed e) Workshops will be marketing oriented to activate a cascade process by delegates.

 

Priorities EUROlocal addresses

...promoting “exploitation of results” by key existing networks and relevant organisations with the aim of transferring and implementing results (multiplication) and/or mainstreaming them into policies.

EUROlocal will not only collect tools, strategies, reports, projects, materials etc on learning regions - the 'what' - it will also actively stress the 'how' and the 'why' of this key European policy. Partners, who themselves lead their own extensive networks, will contact all the key European networks eg CoR, EAEA, Eurocities. The marketing literature and the learning materials it creates will use all these networks to generate exploitation.  

...transversal action at European level (by sector, theme or user group).

This is a sectoral and thematic cross-sector project . Learning regions are created by joint action among its stakeholders in schools, universities, adult colleges, enterprises and the regional administrations themselves. The INDICATORS , TELS and PENR3L projects developed materials for all these. Thus the knowledge on the interactive web site will stress interaction and partnerships between the stakeholders. This is a key project message. 

...developing suitable infrastructure (analysis, mechanisms, methodologies and practical tools) to facilitate exploitation of results.

The web site will be the key knowledge tool for the housing of the information. It will use modern techniques,grouping information into logical groups with a navigation hierarchy, but also using blogs/moving images/rich media and encouraging users to ‘digg.  Information will be ’clustered,' ‘tagged’ and associated with regions, topics, sectors, language etc. Partners will analyse input, develop marketing tools & learning materials suitable to particular regions and ensure that they are known.

LLP Horizontal policies EUROlocal addresses

Promoting an awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity within Europe, as well as of the need to combat racism, prejudice and xenophobia.

Learning Regions are not homogenous. They take into account the cultural and linguistic features of each region. Care will be exercised in ensuring that this is respected in the structure of the website and the materials that accompany it. Each language will have its own section on the site and the examples contained within it will be locally sourced.

 

How EUROlocal demonstrates Complementarity with other policies

Lisbon partnership for growth and jobs

The implementation of the Lisbon strategy for the European Lifelong Learning area depends heavily on the growth of learning regions throughout the continent. The European policy document of the local and regional dimension of LLL stressed that. EUROlocal will be a giant step forward for this implementation by putting all information into one place.

Erasmus

One of the ERASMUS structural network themes is the 'knowledge triangle of innovation, research and education' and the establishment of learning regions centred on universities as a driving force for regional development. EUROlocal provides the knowledge, and the tools,that will allow that to happen more effectively.

 LILLIPUT, INDICATORS, PALLACE, LILARA, PENR3L and others. All this effort has produced data, tools, indicators, reports, videos, projects, recommendations, plans, strategies, learning materials - a wealth of potentially valuable knowledge for EU regions that urgently needs to be brought together in one place and made available to them. There is a clear qualitative difference in a learning region, and yet research shows that in many places there is little awareness or action. In EUROlocal, PENR3L , a network created by an EC project to spread the learning region message, will lead other networks in gathering together all European knowledge and practice in this area from all sources across all sectors and countries, test the tools, find the best practice, dynamically organise it in an interactive website, produce learning materials, and actively disseminate and exploit it to effect a transformation of Europe's regions. The impact this would have on regional economies and social well-being is huge.

 

Objectives of the EC Lifelong Learning Programme EUROlocal addresses

To contribute to the development of quality lifelong learning and to promote high performance, innovation and a European dimension in systems and practices in the field.

EUROlocal reinforces the EC policy on lifelong learning regions by collecting the tools, strategies, learning materials , reports and everything concerned with the development of learning regions, putting them into an innovative web site that all regions can access, and actively marketing the qualitative benefits of becoming a European learning region. Its workshops promote trans European cooperation .

To support the realisation of a European area for lifelong learning.

The availability of the all knowledge on learning cities and regions and its active marketing by a multiplicity of networks throughout Europe and through the website and workshops will do much to help the continent progress more rapidly towards a European lifelong learning area. The project could lead to the development of a new version of the policy document on learning regions to replace the original, written by the project advisor in 2001. This will be included in the recommendations.

To reinforce the contribution of lifelong learning to social cohesion, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, gender equality and personal fulfilment.

The commission definition of a learning region is one 'which recognises and understands the key role of learning in the development of prosperity, stability and personal fulfilment, and mobilises all its resources creatively to develop the full human potential of all its citizens.' EUROlocal is at the heart of this objective. The examples of good practice collected and marketed by the project will help fulfil it.

To help improve the quality, attractiveness and accessibility of the opportunities for lifelong learning available within member states.

Since quality, attractiveness and accessibility of the opportunities are all learning region attributes, the project addresses these concerns by providing learning materials (eg from LILLIPUT), indicators (eg from INDICATORS), and case studies of good practice to enable regions to increase awareness of the need.  Workshops will certainly be attractive examples of how to do it.

To reinforce the role of lifelong learning in creating a sense of European citizenship based on understanding and respect for human rights and democracy, and encouraging tolerance and respect for other peoples and cultures.

The EUROlocal and the learning region message is one of European harmony and tolerance. Workshops will reinforce that through the materials used. Examples of regional learning projects that promote internationalism and communication between European children and adults from different countries, as in the PALLACE project, will be actively marketed as a priority.

To encourage the best use of results, innovative products and processes and to exchange good practice in the fields covered by the Lifelong Learning Programme, in order to improve the quality of education and training.

This is the purpose of EUROlocal - to gather all products, processes, tools, materials, recommendations, strategies, case studies etc and encourage their best use by using the PENR3L and other networks to actively market them and encourage their exploitation in the regions. The web site and the learning materials produced by the project will also be of great  value to this process.

 

Specific Objectives of the Action EUROlocal addresses

To promote European cooperation in fields covering two or more sectoral sub-programmes - KA4

The materials collected by EUROlocal cover all aspects of learning region activity including the different stakeholders - schools, universities, adult education, enterprise, community, administration. The stakeholder audits in the INDICATORS project are an example. They promote the active participation of these organisations in learning region activities. So will the learning materials developed by the project to assist take-up.  Workshops are specifically designed for this objective's purpose.

 

Operational Objectives of the Action EUROlocal addresses

To ensure that the results of the Lifelong Learning Programme are appropriately recognised, demonstrated and implemented on a wide scale.

Four major aspects of EUROLOCAL have a part to play a) Collection of data from all sources will be a two-way communication process with regions in a dissemination exercise covering all Europe b) the website will be interactive and innovative, permitting easy identification and access to knowledge c) the existence of this treasure house will be actively marketed by networks d) learning materials will be designed e) Workshops will be marketing oriented to activate a cascade process by delegates.

 

Priorities EUROlocal addresses

...promoting “exploitation of results” by key existing networks and relevant organisations with the aim of transferring and implementing results (multiplication) and/or mainstreaming them into policies.

EUROlocal will not only collect tools, strategies, reports, projects, materials etc on learning regions - the 'what' - it will also actively stress the 'how' and the 'why' of this key European policy. Partners, who themselves lead their own extensive networks, will contact all the key European networks eg CoR, EAEA, Eurocities. The marketing literature and the learning materials it creates will use all these networks to generate exploitation.  

...transversal action at European level (by sector, theme or user group).

This is a sectoral and thematic cross-sector project . Learning regions are created by joint action among its stakeholders in schools, universities, adult colleges, enterprises and the regional administrations themselves. The INDICATORS , TELS and PENR3L projects developed materials for all these. Thus the knowledge on the interactive web site will stress interaction and partnerships between the stakeholders. This is a key project message. 

...developing suitable infrastructure (analysis, mechanisms, methodologies and practical tools) to facilitate exploitation of results.

The web site will be the key knowledge tool for the housing of the information. It will use modern techniques,grouping information into logical groups with a navigation hierarchy, but also using blogs/moving images/rich media and encouraging users to ‘digg.  Information will be ’clustered,' ‘tagged’ and associated with regions, topics, sectors, language etc. Partners will analyse input, develop marketing tools & learning materials suitable to particular regions and ensure that they are known.

LLP Horizontal policies EUROlocal addresses

Promoting an awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity within Europe, as well as of the need to combat racism, prejudice and xenophobia.

Learning Regions are not homogenous. They take into account the cultural and linguistic features of each region. Care will be exercised in ensuring that this is respected in the structure of the website and the materials that accompany it. Each language will have its own section on the site and the examples contained within it will be locally sourced.

 

How EUROlocal demonstrates Complementarity with other policies

Lisbon partnership for growth and jobs

The implementation of the Lisbon strategy for the European Lifelong Learning area depends heavily on the growth of learning regions throughout the continent. The European policy document of the local and regional dimension of LLL stressed that. EUROlocal will be a giant step forward for this implementation by putting all information into one place.

Erasmus

One of the ERASMUS structural network themes is the 'knowledge triangle of innovation, research and education' and the establishment of learning regions centred on universities as a driving force for regional development. EUROlocal provides the knowledge, and the tools,that will allow that to happen more effectively.

 

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